Performance. We like to call HOT BIKE the performance magazine, so we're always looking to find good performance products and parts. When we were told about some cutting-edge cleaning products, we knew we had to put them to the test. Since we couldn't run them on the dyno, we had to pull out the old "elbow dyno" and wash the bike. We had just gotten back from a trip to Las Vegas, where on the way home we'd gotten rained on, so we had a dirty Road King in need of a little cleaning. OK, a lot of cleaning.
We were told that BriteMax Performance cleaners and polishes are designed to work fast with great results and little effort. This sounded like a good thing, since we don't like wasting a lot of time washing and waxing our bikes. We decided this was a perfect time to check them out-we had to clean the bike, anyway.
We got a set of the four core products: Grime Out cleaner and degreaser, Spray & Shine detail spray, Easy Cut metal cleaner, and Final Shine Metal Polish & Sealer. We also got a test sample of Leather Max, a leather and vinyl cleaner.
We got started by spraying the bike down with water, then sprayed Grime Out over everything-even the painted parts. Grime Out contains no acids or solvents, so it's safe to use on the whole bike. The directions say to spray everything, even the tires, let it sit for about five minutes, then rinse thoroughly. It dissolved all the brake dust and road tar, along with all the hard-water spots from the rain. Then we sprayed a little more on the tires. After we rinsed them off, they started to dry and looked like new.
OK, the bike looked clean, and the paint looked good, so now it was time to clean the wheels and other metal parts. This part is always what takes the most work, so it tends to be the step that gets skipped a lot of the time. This is where Easy Cut Metal Cleaner comes in. The directions said Easy Cut cleans light to heavy oxidation easily from bare metals such as aluminum, brass, copper, magnesium, and so on. Easy Cut contains a combination of solvents, chemicals, and extremely fine abrasives that react to break down oxidation. So with little effort, Easy Cut can quickly remove most surface oxidation on metal.
We wanted to work on the wheels first and had to shake the container to get the solids mixed from the bottom of the container. Then we applied a small amount to a soft cloth (terry cloth) and rubbed it into the surface with light pressure. We had to let the product dry completely to a grayish haze, then go over it with a clean, dry cloth to remove the surface residue. It looked good. We did a second application, and it made a dramatic difference-almost like new aluminum.
After we dried the bike, we sprayed the Spray & Shine on a microfiber cloth and a little on all the painted parts. This is a non-silicone spray and detailer; it can also be used between washes to clean up the bike without having to do a full wash. It's a quick and easy way to create a beautiful "wet look" shine on all painted surfaces. The Spray & Shine didn't leave streaks after it dried, and it quickly cleaned all the water spots that were left on the chrome. It can be applied to a wet bike and will buff to a shine while drying. We wish we'd read all the directions first-we wouldn't have had to dry the bike in the first place.
OK, everything was clean and shining, so next was the BriteMax Final Shine. This product is a high-luster cleaner and sealer for metal surfaces. After all the metal was cleaned (polished), a small amount was placed on a clean cloth and applied to all the clean metal areas. After about five minutes, it was dry and needed to be wiped off. One cool thing is that because this product goes onto a clean surface, a little goes a long way, and the sealer lasts for up to three months with regular washes. Now the bike was clean, shining, and had some protection.
With the bike looking good, it was time to clean some of the bugs and road grime off the leathers as well. Leather Max is a deep conditioner that cleans and conditions the leather, keeping it feeling soft with a satin finish. All you need to do is apply a small amount to the leather or onto a rag and rub evenly into the surface until it's completely covered. Like a good shoeshine on dried-out leather, you may need to apply a second coat, since leather is absorbent. But this did make the riding vest look like new...maybe too new.